As we inch closer to the start of fall camp (Aug. 8) we inch closer toward the top of our countdown of the Top 60 players at UM. Now, we'll zero in on No. 36 on our list: Defensive tackle Micanor Regis. The big, talented sophomore surprised some last year with his early contributions. Will he take another step forward and help a UM run defense that took a huge step back in 2008? The Canes are hoping so.
> What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: One of the starts for the nation's sixth-ranked high school football team according to USA Today, Regis was tabbed the 29th best defensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com, 31st by Scout.com and 28th by ESPN. At 6-2, 321 pounds, he plugged the hole for Pahokee, racking up 101 tackles (31 for loss) and five sacks as a senior. He built an early bond with defensive line coach Clint Hurtt and picked the Canes over Florida State, South Carolina and Tennessee.
> What he's done as a Cane: Micanor didn't get as much attention as fellow freshman defensive tackle Marcus Forston, but got nearly as much playing experience as the former Miami Northwestern star. Regis played in 10 games for the Canes and finished with 16 tackles. This spring, he graded out as one of the Canes' best, benching 390 pounds (fourth among defensive tackles, but fifth on the team) and lifting 330 pounds on the power clean (second only among DTs to Allen Bailey).
> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: The first thing Clint Hurtt told me last spring right after the Canes had signed Forston was not to forget about Regis. The sophomore may not start -- Allen Bailey, Forston or Joe Joseph -- probably will. But he is just as important to UM's success this season stopping the run as those three are. The Canes dropped from 40th against the run in 2007 to 75th giving up an average of 151 yards a game last season. UM coaches have pointed to the depth and talent at the tackle position. If Regis is as good as advertised, there is no reason he won't be a big part of what should be an improvement by UM at stopping the run -- at least up front.